Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Merriam Websters Word of the Year


Merriam-Webster Dictionary's "Word of the Year. "

Do you know what the word is? I will give you a clue. It is not covfefe. That is not a word, just a lazy tweet. Another clue is that it starts with an "F."  It is not a swear word.

Before I reveal this important word, I want to discuss a conversation my husband and I had on the recent reveal of all the men in power that have sexually assaulted, molested and/or scare-threatened women while the men were running businesses, making movies, drafting legislation, running cooking shows, managing restaurants, attending military shows, etc.   We were talking about why men in power do this?  (The real question is why are there more men than women in power, but this post is not about that.)


My husband seemed to think it was a deep biological need.  There is a biological programming for males to extend their gene pool for survival.  I claimed it had to do with a hatred and sometimes fear of women and a need to reassure that oneself was still in power.

Now that I have dwelled on it, I think we are both right.  Have you ever had the opportunity to watch an elk herd get organized in late fall?  I have.  The younger females drift over to the better looking younger elk males and give each other the tentative eye.  This lasts about 10 minutes and then the major elk, the older one with the big shoulders and rack and bigger, well you know, comes around and paws the ground and demands the females get back in their place with serious threats.  He will run off the younger elk and then strut his stuff and herd his harem roughly to the other side of the meadow.

There is a deep biological need to continue one's gene line.  Male lions rape and kill for sexual reproduction and otters attack females for the same.  This is found throughout the animal kingdom.

But humans are sentient, living an intelligent and civilized life; and hopefully, we have moved beyond those physical power plays and forcing themselves on others, at least most people have.  So those who molest are throwbacks to an earlier time.  They have failed to evolve, or they have a deep-seated mental illness.

For those males who bemoan today going to the holiday parties worrying about how to behave, I have little sympathy.  Treat each woman as if she was your mother or sister or daughter and you will do just fine.  If you feel you need to hug someone, ask them first!  If you are under the mistletoe, act embarrassed and walk away.  If you drink too much call a cab and go home.  NEVER tell off-color jokes, ever!  Compliment a woman on her dress only if you regularly compliment a guy on his tie.

I am not sympathetic to these creeps as I have been a woman always ducking that snake at the holiday party, always looking over my shoulder when alone at night, always dreading the boss who told dirty jokes, feeling belittled when denigrated by gender at a meeting.  I managed that for years, so now men can manage the other better type of behavior!

Oh, the word --- feminist.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

A Thursday Thirteen...these are totally random

1. Walking to the gate in the fog I saw two rust brown wrens flittering in the pile of kindling I had made after the last tree fall.  Since I was in camo it took a while before they saw me.

2. I drove up to the city for a birthday party for my D.I.L. and upon my return, I noticed that 90% of the leaves had finally fallen in that short period turning the trees into skeletons.  Fall is departing.




3. One morning this week I walked in the early mist to the dock to catch a photo or two of the geese gliding on the river.  Some broke into noisy flight heading toward the cornfield when they heard me.  Then shortly I heard gunfire and felt terribly guilty.



4. Yesterday I woke early and saw that the woods were shrouded in fog, so in a sleepy "fog" myself put on my frumpiest clothes and headed down the street by my neighbor's houses without even taking a brush to my hair looking for photos.  It is amazing how many of my neighbors have to drive somewhere that early in the morning...wondering if they recognized me!



5. Lobster tails were on sale the other day and so we bought two jumbo tails (which we may do once every few years or so) and had a lovely pre- New Year's dinner. Side dishes were asparagus sauteed with dill and oyster mushrooms and mac and cheese.  It was a mini gourmet dinner.

6. My grandchildren have such a parade of guests coming through their home that they are not surprised to wake in the morning and find I have spent the night!

7. I am working this week on the gift list. One of the hardest parts of this season as I put great effort to get it right and many of those I buy for live in abundance.  I do lots of donations which does lift my spirit.

8. Binge-watching House of Cards and wondering how they are going to end it without the lead after so many years.  With today's support of an accused pedophile for Senate and a President who admits to infidelity, the series seems rather tame with its prostitution and threesomes.

9. "To face unafraid the plans that we made while walking in a winter wonderland."  No longer making those long-range plans as I age, this thought crossed my mind as I listened to my holiday music.

10. This past week I have made persimmon bars, persimmon cookies, persimmon bread and persimmon pie. We gave bags of fresh persimmons away at a recent party.



11. My Christmas card list gets smaller every year. I am of mixed emotions on that.

12. We are well into the first week of December and I still have guara flowers and pineapple sage in bloom!  Cold front coming this week.




13.  For the last in this list, I realized, almost too late, that this little fellow could have gone into the persimmon jam I was making as he was so color-coordinated!   This December has been exceptionally warm.


Wednesday, December 06, 2017

The Wounded Warrior




We lost a "wounded warrior" Blogger yesterday.  She had not been able to blog for several years but fought her battle with ALS on Facebook where many of us continued to support her.  She recently added a new war against cancer.   She was strong, witty, and funny to the very end with the support of her loving husband, Dave.   Knowing her made a difference in my life and that of many others.   She left a legacy of hope and determination for all of us who fight our daily battles.  I will miss her terribly.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Lifting Up the Spirits.


Well, my spirits have lifted somewhat (temporarily) and I found a Christmas present in the news today with the indictment of Flynn. The White House says he was an Obama holdover (Obama fired him and Trump re-hired him). Incomplete pass on their part and they need to explain why they ignored the FBI warning telling them to get rid of him and ignored that dear career lady with the intelligence and ethics.  I am patiently waiting for the dominoes to fall.  Trump, Trump Jr., and Kushner and Ivanka have all had ties to corrupt money launderers and domestic and foreign criminal groups most of their lives, so they know how to accept bribes, hide money outside this country, and have gotten away with it, for now.


The  National lighting of the Christmas Tree had the smallest crowd ever in front of the White House this year and the weather was beautiful, rows and rows of empty chairs.  He keeps getting fewer and fewer supporters in his gatherings even on such simple unpolitical things as holiday activities.  Obama had standing room only when he lit the tree each year.  I do miss the intellectual transparent honesty of his administration.

So, today after the morning news, I binge watched that old TV series "Frazier" which has such snappy dialogue and proceeded to make about 100 persimmon spice cookies while I watched and reminisced.   Half of these chewy spice disks are in the freezer and the other half we will eat.  The recipe only used about 4-5 of the hard persimmons, so making no dent in the harvest!



Even the folks at the food pantry are too picky to want to take these home for the holidays!


The kitchen was full of dirty bowls and utensils and I just finished washing a batch and am now running "pro-scrub" on the dishwasher for the rest.  The small artificial tree is up, a few wreaths scattered about.  Mage made me feel guilty  reconsider and not give in to the challenges my family is now facing and become a ghost (i.e. ghost of Christmas past).   We played Christmas music while we decorated and hung a few strings of lights on the deck and took out a few sentimental items.

We blog readers lost the activist Hattie from Hawaii this past week.  She was tough and took no prisoners and I will miss her intellectual arguments greatly.

While this is a tough month I will hang on white-knuckled and fight for everything I want and I hope you do the same.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

You Don't Have to Read This, but I Have to Write It.

When one's life is a daily pain, one withdraws into oneself.  There is no need to burden others, because they cannot share your weight. and they cannot really understand unless they have also opened a parcel and seen the same daunting burden and carried it in their life.  This heavy amorphous sorrow is firmly attached and if torn away you will go screaming into black midnight blinded by tears because you become even more helpless with foolish understanding.  What a frightening feeling to realize that no one can help.  What a horrible feeling to realize you are not alone and your pain pierces the hearts of those you love.  And to protect others you begin a list of secrets ... lies of omission.  What a helpless feeling to realize that the pain is caused by someone you love more than life itself and you may use up what little power you have in that relationship before the carrying journey is over in so many tragic ways.

I have always loved stories of  mystery, drama and love.  I have been willing to fall into the escape of movies and books and sometimes even music.  Now, when in the heart of the turn of the story/movie or crescendo of the Opera Seria, there is a sharp blood drawn reminder of some weakness/misery of one character that pulls me back into my reality and as if in a time warp I crash again to earth and I collapse in tears.  I become a cloth that has been  thrown.

I cannot accept sympathy of others, because my life has been so rich and lucky and unearned.  Even now I watch the news and realize my pain is just a splinter among those who flee war, slavery or starvation.  But I do now feel a filial relationship in the great migration  of humanity looking for answers to  "What's It All About?"

(Sorry this is so enigmatic.  But it is what it is.)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

That Busy Time Before Thanksgiving

Return to my house on Sunday, I was greeted by this in my driveway.



It looks like a skinny trunk but that thing was at least 12 inches across at the base. I held my breath 
and drove on in and parked the car in the garage.


The pine tree had been dead for a year or two as can be seen by the fungus on the trunk. I later was concerned I could be trapped at home if the tree fell overnight in the winds and went out and moved the car to the end of the driveway to pick up hubby from the airport the next day.

Picked up hubby from the airport on that Monday. Busy holiday rush travel had already begun and I hated the traffic.

We were very busy the next day, but the day before Thanksgiving the tree made its demands by falling further.


Hubby got out the chainsaw and wedge and safety gear and I got out the camera.


We were able to get the heavy part tree fall away from the driveway.  Then we tied a rope to the base of the remaining snag and pulled and pulled and pulled across the driveway until it was all the way down and mostly unsnagged.


Rewarded with firewood for next year after it ages.  While pine is not the best, I do get our chimney cleaned annually for safety.



Nights have not yet been super cold, so only a few fires in the fireplace.

While others were preparing Thanksgiving desserts and side dishes, we were being "woodspersons."  Have a good day today whether you celebrate this holiday or not.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

When Did You Throw In The Towel?

Since I have been alone, I have filled my days with errands and goals and now come to the end of the list. The next list is holiday shopping and I have no immediate desire to work on that right away.  I will not be entertaining as my daughter has insisted she be the center for that.  It  is OK as it saves me a lot of work and  I figure in years she will have reached my time in life and have a better perspective.

Today and yesterday I stumbled across an old Netflix e-mark that I had on that popular series "House of Cards."  We had watched the first and second year and then for some reason forgot to continue to watch..actually I thought it had been on another pay-per-view site.  I am old, what can I say?

Anyway I spend about three hours each evening catching up.  At first I felt guilty.  I had concerns about watching a show that has a star with a recently exposed despicable background.  There is that important question.  Can you admire the art of someone who has been revealed to be evil?  This post is not about answering that question, although I would really appreciated your opinions on that.  The show involves many people who will be paid residuals and who are talented, and therefore, I do not feel guilt.  The writers, the directors, the co-actors all deserve admiration of their work.  I also have realized with this Congress and this President, the story is not that far fetched.  The headlines of today are pretty good in melding with plot points on this series.

I got a Skype call just an hour ago, from my husband who is on the other side of the world.  You remember that, right?  Anyway, they were just evacuated from their hotel  due to an earthquake.  Do you realize there have been at least two major and many minor earthquakes recently?  No?  Well, he is safe and he sounded very calm.  His good friend, who is in his 80's, is with him on this adventure.  See?  Life is not over unless you throw in the towel.  I hope that I am that interested in adventures in my 80's.  Even if you find you do not get to see your 80's due to some crappy quirk of fate, let us hope your warrior side kicks in and you squeeze out the juice of  the life you have been  given.